Author Topic: Your holiday hill to die on.  (Read 264704 times)

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Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2011, 11:20:54 AM »
I started implementing my hills two years ago, after DH and I got married. I am not close with my family and don’t have any desire to spend Holiday’s with them so it’s not a matter of “sharing” in our case. It’s the fact that because the in-laws know that, it’s “expected” that we spend it with them. Frankly, sometimes I don’t want to be social on Holidays. I've decided that just because we aren't going to my family's doesn't mean we are automatically obligated to spend every Holiday with his. And, I’d like the chance for DH and I to start our own traditions.

Now, let me say that I am lucky to have married into a warm and generous family but FIL is also kind of high maintenance. He is a good man but he’s also got money and uses it. Not in that smarmy arrogant way but in that “I can’t be bothered to do this so I’ll just pay someone else to do it for me way”. Hey, it’s his money so I suppose he can do what he wants with it but this often relates back to how his children (SIL, BIL, and DH) react to him*.

DH and I are the only kids in town (his brother and sister live out of state). We’ve only been married three years but since becoming engaged, FIL has made “requests” of our time on whatever random whim he happens to be having at the moment that I do not feel inclined to go along with most of the time. So I don’t. So far, there haven’t been any bumps about it but this Christmas ALL the kids are in town and that’s when FIL starts in on his “traditions”. 

One of FIL’s quirks is his Christmas tree. He’s very very VERY specific about how he wants it done. And he insists that DH and I come over whenever HE is ready to decorate it and do so with big joyous smiles on our face while he micro manages every single piece of tinsel (that he orders from Germany). He’s not nasty about it, just “specific”. Decorating a tree is supposed to be a fun thing. It’s stressful with FIL. So, last year, I just didn’t go over. The tree got decorated just the way FIL liked and no one (meaning DH and I) felt like burying him under the ornaments by the end of the day. FIL still likes to bring this up, (jokingly but still) and I bean dip him every time. 
And, that generally leads to the conversation about Christmas Eve midnight mass at FIL’s church…

FIL is the groundskeeper at his church. He does this voluntarily as he’s very much into nature and does an outstanding job of it. The grounds are gorgeous and I say that as someone who doesn’t “do” nature. And, his loyalty to that church is quite deep though he doesn’t actually attend that church as a member. (I honestly don’t understand it but it makes him happy.) He also runs the parking on the very well attended midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Now, it use to be that every other year, or whenever they were in town, the “kids” were enlisted to help act as parking attendants at midnight mass. That means the spouses as well. Apparently, this is just sort of the understanding. Our first year as a married couple, I was told that this was happening with no more than a day’s notice. I went along with it because I was still new to the family and didn’t want to make waves. We didn’t get out of there until after 2 am and then had to be back at the in-laws house for coffee cake and presents the next morning at 8 am as that’s also tradition. I was not happy. DH and his siblings and their spouses have just sorta of accepted that this was how it was going to be from now on. I do not. This year, all the kids and spouses are back in town again for Christmas and FIL has already started talking about it. I told DH all that I would not be “helping” with parking this year. DH said, “But it’s tradition.” I said, “No. It’s FIL’s tradition. I would like for us to start our own Christmas Eve traditions this year. They won’t miss us. We’ll see them all on Christmas morning and throughout the week while they are in town.” So far, no one has tried to argue with me about it.

My next hill is having every Thanksgiving Holiday hijacked by his MIL. FIL often goes away on long nature trips and MIL is often left to fend for herself when those trips overlap holidays. She isn’t exactly amubulatory on a good day and she’s lonely because she doesn’t have a lot of friends so DH feels guilt about leaving her alone for Thanksgiving. Now, I don’t mind spending them with her sometimes. She’s lovely,  but I just want a Thanksgiving where I don’t have to spend my time worrying about MIL. I want to stay home and do nothing. Or, maybe just have some friends over and have a casual party and drink lots of wine. The last three years, DH and I had plans to do something on our own for Thanksgiving and every year, we end up at his parent’s house eating bad food (she’s a terrible cook) because “Well it’s Thanksgiving and mom’s lonely. ” (he also plays the "she's old and might not be around much longer" card). FIL is also a notoriously picky eater so that on top of the bad food make for a very bland boring meal. This year I said, “Your mom is a big girl. She’s not your responsibility. Besides, she got Easter this year, every Thanksgiving and Christmas for three years, and she’s getting Christmas again this year. We are NOT giving her Thanksgiving again. I’ll compromise and say that she can come over here if your adamant she not be alone but I am cooking my menu the way I want, I’ll invite who I want, and it will be at the time I want to eat. It’s that or we do nothing at all. If FIL happens to be in town, then the same will apply to him.”

*The reason I suspect that kids all go along with FIL’s “whims” is because they are genuanly terrified he will leave them out of his will if they don’t. What makes them think that is beyond me because I’ve never even heard a peep from FIL about it. I guess they’ve just conditioned themselves to this thinking. I am reconditioning them.

Maujer

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2011, 11:33:05 AM »
This will sound a little petty,  but if we're spending Christmas Eve with my in-laws, we won't arrive until it's time for dinner. Two years ago my husband had to work on Christmas Eve morning so we weren't going to be able to travel to the in-laws until mid-afternoon. I briefly thought maybe I'd grab lunch with my father while my husband was at work since we used Christmas shop on Christmas eve together. Somehow this was mentioned to my in-laws (along with the fact that no matter what happened we would be arriving at the same time). My normally lovely FIL wrote my husband a very nasty e-mail about how we needed to learn how to handle family obligations. In the end, lunch with my father didn't work out and my husband got out of work - but we still arrived right before dinner like we orginally planned. And we always will (partially for cabin fever issues too, my in-laws are major homebodies).

I'm still disturbed by the e-mail, but in a way I'm glad I know now my in-laws have weird jealousy issues with my parents. My family is the polar opposite so this attitude is completely foreign to me.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2011, 11:48:06 AM »
My hill for all future years  -

Drawing names for Christmas.  It's always drama, drama.  Someone can't afford to buy, someone didn't buy appropriately, someone shipped late, someone opened early.   I'm through.

I send cards to siblings, nieces & nephews (usually with our family photo enclosed) and gifts to the children in high school or younger.

I usually mail either the Friday or first Monday after Thanksgiving.  I don't care if I don't get anything in return, it's not about that, it's about me giving what I feel is appropriate to those I love and staying within my budget.  Sometimes it's homemade & sometimes it's store bought, my budget & moods vary from year to year, I try to please each recipient.  Sorry if I didn't, everyone should know the effort was there.   

I feel like my kids have been shafted by various givers for years.  I want my kids to be respected and treated fairly - they haven't always been and I'm tired of dealing with the fallout.  If my kids want to give gifts, they have to come up with a list and a budget - again, whether handmade or store bought and I try to help them accomplish their goals.  If it's a relative or non-relative, it's their choice to give or not.   

MummySweet

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2011, 12:03:53 PM »
The turkey became my hill to die on one Thanksgiving.   

 The first year I was married to my exDH, we invited the whole family and SOs to Thanksgiving as our home was by far the largest and most centrally located.   I was looking forward to it as I didn't know my in-laws well.  We had dated and married on the opposite side of the country.   My BIL was bringing his long term girlfriend, whom I had never met.  I was informed well ahead of time that she was a vegetarian, and had planned a meatless entree in addition to the bird.   In addition, all of the sides were meatless.

The evening before Thanksgiving I received a call from the GF, informing me that because she was vegetarian I could not serve a turkey at all.  She went on to say that she was afraid the "family" had forgotten to tell me that meat was not allowed at any function she attended.    I was sort of startled by this, but did tell her that we were definitely having a turkey, but that I was also preparing a vegetarian option.  She said that it "wouldn't do" so she was going to call MIL... and she did.   MIL called me and I learned that the family had acquiesced to this demand for several years, despite that fact that they were all meat-eaters, and admitted to missing the turkey/goose/ham, etc. on holidays.    My MIL never asked me not to serve the turkey, but did say that this was very important to GF.   I was not willing to give up that turkey (thawed and ready to go), so I had my then-DH call his brother and tell him that the menu was not changing, and we would understand if they didn't come, but they were still very welcome.   BIL and GF didn't come to the meal and actually broke up a short time later.  ILs attended many more holiday meals at our home until we split, and always seemed to enjoy the food.     I've always wondered if I was the family's way of getting their bird back? 

Tai

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2011, 02:09:53 PM »
The turkey became my hill to die on one Thanksgiving.   

 The first year I was married to my exDH, we invited the whole family and SOs to Thanksgiving as our home was by far the largest and most centrally located.   I was looking forward to it as I didn't know my in-laws well.  We had dated and married on the opposite side of the country.   My BIL was bringing his long term girlfriend, whom I had never met.  I was informed well ahead of time that she was a vegetarian, and had planned a meatless entree in addition to the bird.   In addition, all of the sides were meatless.

The evening before Thanksgiving I received a call from the GF, informing me that because she was vegetarian I could not serve a turkey at all.  She went on to say that she was afraid the "family" had forgotten to tell me that meat was not allowed at any function she attended.    I was sort of startled by this, but did tell her that we were definitely having a turkey, but that I was also preparing a vegetarian option.  She said that it "wouldn't do" so she was going to call MIL... and she did.   MIL called me and I learned that the family had acquiesced to this demand for several years, despite that fact that they were all meat-eaters, and admitted to missing the turkey/goose/ham, etc. on holidays.    My MIL never asked me not to serve the turkey, but did say that this was very important to GF.   I was not willing to give up that turkey (thawed and ready to go), so I had my then-DH call his brother and tell him that the menu was not changing, and we would understand if they didn't come, but they were still very welcome.   BIL and GF didn't come to the meal and actually broke up a short time later.  ILs attended many more holiday meals at our home until we split, and always seemed to enjoy the food.     I've always wondered if I was the family's way of getting their bird back? 

We've had something similar happen in my family.  Im not a vegetarian, nor are any of my immediate family members.  After about 6 months of doing "meatless Mondays" and my discovery of a powdered veggie boullion, I'm now comfortable making vegetarian meals.  Vegan, on the other hand, I'm not set up to do nor am I comfortable doing.  Same with most of the "whatever" free, like gluten or casein or nut free, as I know that I personally can't guarantee that a particle of "allergen/item" is not in the food, and I know that is very important. 

If I invite people over for a holiday (may be doing that this year) or party, then I get to pick the menu.  If someone lets me know about an allergy or intolerance or other food issue, I will figure something out, but if someone tries to dictate the menu... nope.  Not in my house, thank you very much!


heartmug

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2011, 02:13:06 PM »
My hill.... the assumption.  We live about 1200 miles away from my ILs.  For about the first 5 years of our marriage, DH was the only child to live out of state.

So, my Dh would make his obligated call on Thanksgiving and MIL would announce "We bought plane tickets and we are coming for Christmas."  Dh accepted this the first year of our marriage.  That is what he was used to.   His parents also dropped in on people in their town that they wanted to visit, so why should we be any different?  I was young and didn't want to make waves (i.e. my backbone had not grown in).  About the 3rd time I said to DH "They picked a week (they were coming the week before) that we and the kids have a lot of plans.  I am not changing plans."  When they barely got to see us, they learned to ask if we were free the week they wanted to come visit.
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LadyL

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2011, 02:23:02 PM »
My hill: if I am cooking dinner, it is served on time and we will not wait for latecomers.

This was a direct result of the year we got tricked into cooking TDay dinner for all my inlaws, and AngryUncle came two hours late - and they made us wait for him for fear he would throw a fit if we didn't. For two hours the food stayed in the oven and crockpots where it all dried out by the time it was served. I was furious! And yes, I did ask repeatedly why we couldn't just serve the food when it was ready, to no avail.

The year that we *agreed* to cook, we also decided we were waiting no more than 15 minutes past dinner time for Angry Uncle and family. They arrived an hour late to us just putting out dessert. Not only did they eat the plates we'd put aside for them without complaint, they actually apologized. They seemed completely perplexed that we didn't wait, but not upset, just utterly surprised. Everyone else was shocked that they were contrite about it. The world didn't end, what a shock!

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2011, 02:45:28 PM »
Mine is Christmas morning with my husband (long term boyfriend at the time).  This comes from two different issues.  My family rotates hosting, but usually whoever hosts does it for a few years in a row.  When it was my mom's turn, she always expected me to be at her house bright and early on Christmas morning to help her.  Now, I know it's pretty normal for daughters to help moms out on Christmas morning, but my mother makes it very unpleasant.  Extremely unpleasant.  I'd rather she just go have a cup of coffee and leave me a list of directions and let me do ALL the work, that kind of unpleasant.  Not to mention, I was always called upon because DH doesn't have local family that he's in touch with, whereas my brother's wife does, so he had a nice, easy out (I don't think it was a sexist thing - my brother is a chef, so he'd probably be the idea helper for Christmas dinner ;)).

In addition to that, DH used to work for a petstore, and part of his job was coming in for an hour or two on days they were closed to clean animal cages and feed everyone.  I have no idea why it was always his job, on every holiday.  I have no idea why the store manager couldn't do it now and then.  Probably because DH is a workaholic and has a hard time saying no ::) 

So, for years, it was me being tortured at mom's, while he was off cleaning hamster cages.  One year, I was sick on Christmas.  I still ended up going to mom's, along with BF.  I sat there, miserable, clearly sick, and mom had the absolute gall to accuse me of faking it to get out of helping her.  This after years of getting up early on Christmas and giving up my Christmas morning time to help her.  I found myself unavoidably busy the next time she hosted.  DH ended up in a new job a year or two later, and we are DONE with dealing with other people Christmas morning.  He does a lot of petsitting now, and that's one of maybe two or three days in the year when I tell him that I don't care HOW much they're offering him, no petsitting.  We will wake up at our leisure, drink coffee, eat a nice breakfast, open presents, and actually have a chance to check out our presents and spend some time together before going to the family thing.  I would be willing to sacrifice it if he wanted to travel to New York and see his family for Christmas, but that's the only exception, and so far it hasn't really been in the budget anyway.

Luci

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2011, 02:56:58 PM »
I will not wait to serve dinner. I send out printed invitations to the family, about 14 invitations for 40 people, no word of mouth invitations, so they know that dinner is served at a certain time. If someone promises to bring something and isn't here, we eat anyway. Once someone didn't arrive with a major dish until dessert was being served. She had a lot of green bean casserole (NOT the soup one) to take home. (We supply the home and placesettings and turkey, potatoes and gravy. Everyone else brings stuff that I coordinate - they volunteer, I approve.)

We have and 'angry uncle', too. Once he got no roast at a birthday party because everyone had gone back for seconds before he arrived. Too bad.

Amara

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2011, 03:32:26 PM »
My holiday hill hasn't arrived yet but it will. Either this year or next.

My parents are 87 and while they are in relatively decent health there are serious problems. I will probably lose them in the nost-too-distant future. Thankfully, we have had plenty of opportunites (of which we take advantage) to tell each other how much we love each other. So at least regrets will be few.

The hill comes in the form of my siblings. Two brothers, two sisters, all younger. Only one sister and brother are really relevant, though. Brother is rigid. When I say rigid I mean a boulder has more flexibility than he does about anything. Sister is ... noisy and controlling. The phrase "silence is golden" is, I am sure, unknown to her.

So at Thanksgiving and Christmas it's still the way it has always been, especially around the meal. My sister wants to do everything--I mean everything--at the last minute the way my mother had to before microwave ovens, etc. You need a carving knife to cut the tension in the kitchen. Add to that my brother's extreme rigidity that dinner has to be by 1:00 so he can get home at some time he has defined in his mind. (Never mind that he lives around the corner from my parents' home, a 30-second walk if he strolls.) The turkey has to be carved up the second it comes out of the oven, no less. He cannot let a moment pass, no enjoyment of a pretty brown bird. It's as if the Marines have regimented the meal to the minute, and I am NOT going to continue this when I no longer have my parents here.

I like to relax on T-Day so I do a lot of work ahead of time. lots of cranberry sauce is made in October/early November and frozen. The dressings are made the weekend before and cooked. The gravy--because I always use the previous year's frozen de-fatted stock--is also done that weekend. Salad greens and veggies are washed, cut up and stored in glass canning jars then too. I order a custom-made pie from a speciality pie company here and get it on Tuesday afternoon. The only thing done the day of is cooking the turkey (and warming up or laying out the rest of the items). I let my turkey rest while I admire and toast it with a good Cabernet.
 
It's a holiday, for dog's sake. Eat when it's ready? In the meantime, have fun.

cheyne

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2011, 11:37:29 PM »
My Hill was 1999 with DH's family.  Every holiday had to be at his grandparents farm.  There were at least 9 adults and 5 children at these holidays.  GMIL is a hoarder so there is very little room in the farmhouse.  The kitchen table is designed for 6 so even 9 adults was impossible to eat at (much less trying to squeeze kids in). 

GMIL is a messy cook and doesn't believe in pre-soaking cooking pots, pans, or roasters.  She likes to use plastic glasses (think Frat party beer glasses, $1.98 for 20 at Wallyworld), and plastic "silverware" at holiday dinners.*

My job was always to wash the dishes after the meal was over.  I don't mind helping-out, but if I am voluntold to do a chore I expect to be able to do it my way. GMIL would darn near hang over my shoulder telling me how to wash dishes!  Some of the pots and pans had food sticking in them that had been there for hours and was tough to get off, so I would spend at least 1.5 hours doing dishes from the holiday meal.

After 3 years of these wonderful "holidays" I told my DH he was welcome to go to his grandparents but I would not be attending.  He told his family that we would be going to Tday that 4th year, but I called his bluff and we did not go.  From that day forward we do our own holidays, or I host our friends, the kids friends, and random "strays" we pick-up.

*Remember the plastic kegger kups and silverware?  I had to wash those too, as they needed to be replaced in the hoard.  GMIL almost had a heart attack the first year when I threw the plastic stuff out.  She actually dug in the trash to retrieve every piece.

bigozzy

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2011, 06:39:19 AM »
My hill is far away in another country now but still in my memory.

For me, I got tired of Booze with a capital 'B'. I like to take a drink and I am definitely not against it but I got sick of my normally sensible brothers and father using Christmas as an excuse to hit the booze and eventually do silly things/fight/argue/fall asleep/vomit whatever.

Combine bucket loads of booze with standard Australian Christmas temps (30c +) and you get the picture.

I also like to model decent behaviour to my kids so now they get to see us enjoying a celebratory drink or two but never overboard. I don't miss that aspect.

suzieQ

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2011, 07:09:46 AM »
My hill came a couple of years ago and it is that I Don't Get Involved in Holiday Planning. Period. At all. DH is the social one and I am decidedly not. I'm happy just staying home. I don't mind visiting people, but I don't feel a need to visit, either.

DB and his family live next door to us and we take turns hosting T'giving/Christmas. One year we host one holiday and they host the other, the next year we switch.

Until a couple of years ago. DB is divorced and he was getting his kids for Christmas that year so my Mom asked me if we could let them do Thanksgiving at DB's house,  (2nd year in a row) and us do Christmas, so DB and wife could relax and not have to serve dinner the year they had the kids. I said that was fine. Boy, was that a mistake!

DH had a FIT! He actually told me to "do whatever you want, I'll celebrate T'giving with my family here!  Wow, thanks for letting me know the kids and I are not part of your family, DH! (and FTR, DH repeatedly invited his family to our house for years and they would say they would come, but hardly ever did so.) He spent T'day complaining about how late we were eating (only to me), what was on the menu, etc.

So since then, when DB or Mom ask if we can change up the schedule, I tell them to talk to DH. It's totally up to him = he does the cooking so he makes the decision about when/where we celebrate. I don't care in the least about where/when we get together.
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StarDrifter

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2011, 11:56:09 AM »
Christmas Eve sleepover at the PIL's.

No way in e-hell am I doing that again, this year. Last year was a nightmare on acid and this year is shaping up to be worse, but I don't care!

Ace and I live 25 minutes away from both sets of parents - my mother is a direct care provider for adults with intellectual disabilities - she works most Christmases because she wants to. My brother is in the same field and is working this Christmas because he'll get paid double-time-and-a-half and is saving for a house. My Dad will be on call with the tow truck, so Christmas as far as my family is concerned will probably end up being me, Ace and Dad meeting up at Mum and Bro's work to  help out with breakfast and sneaking in a bacon and egg sandwich each.

Ace's family, on the other hand, is his parents, a brother in Melbourne (2 hours away), one in Canberra (9 hours) and one in Perth (other side of the country. 3-hour flight then a two-hour drive from Melbourne).

Last year, all four brothers were at PIL's house by the 23rd.
Melbourne Brother slept in the study because he was single, he's the youngest and he (literally) drew the short straw.
Canberra Brother and his partner were in the spare room with twin beds because they weren't, still aren't, don't want to be! married.
Perth Brother and his partner got the spare room with the queen bed because they were getting married at New Years.

Ace and I got to sleep on the couch in the lounge room. I'm still not entirely clear on how I was coerced into sleeping over when our house is less than half an hour away, but this year no way no how am I sleeping over. Ace is welcome to it, but I find being woken up by cousins I've only met twice coming into the lounge at 8AM a little disconcerting, especially when it's summer and my pyjamas are a tank top and short-shorts. Not exactly the best look or impression. Then I got hustled through the shower and shoved into the kitchen to 'help' with breakfast, without any coffee... the rest of the day is kind of hazy but I do remember hiding out with Melbourne Brother in the study on the uncomfortable futon, thanking him profusely for buying me a cocktail kit and ingredients (Campari, Vickers Gin, Cinzano Vermouth - we were drinking iced Negroni's all afternoon) so that I could recover from the shock.

I'm used to slow, easygoing Chirstmases - this one was hectic and rushed and people were shouting.

I asked Ace and Melbourne Brother if it was usually like this - apparently it's happened before. MIL's sister (Pushy Aunt) shows up to PIL's house with her four (adult) sons, their four partners and five children under four years old, having told MIL that they'll be there 'for lunch' - they all arrive at 8AM and expect breakfast. I woke up to this after a night on a fold-out couch on a night where the temperature never dropped below 30 degrees.

Since then there's been three more babies born and Ace's parents have moved into a different house (it's about the same size as the old one but has fewer bedrooms... yay...)

So we're staying at home until about noon this year, in case Pushy Aunt and family pull that trick again. Plus, this year I'm pulling Melbourne Brother out of the melee, too, we've got a queen sized bed in our spare bedroom and I've already told him he's welcome to it if he doesn't mind sharing with the cats.

He's promised me Tanqueray gin and Martini & Rossi vermouth if I'll mix the cocktails.
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gingerzing

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2011, 02:31:32 PM »
I didn't realize this would be the year I would have a hill to die on. 
My mom - bless her heart - is incredibly easygoing.  DH & I were not able to go down last Thanksgiving or this one*, but she is cool with that.  (We don't try for Christmas anymore since travel has been so nasty the last few years.
Until last year, DH's family is pretty scattered and we would occasionally go to his mom's or for Thanksgiving go to friends.  Last year his sister (S1) moved back with her three teenaged kids to the area.  I actually get along pretty well with S1, so I was wondering what might be in the works for the holidays.  (Last year we invited MIL, S1 and the kids to our Christmas Eve service.  Which apparently went over pretty well with the kids.) 
DH told me that S1 called the house while we were out last night and she invited us to T-Day. At Ryan's Buffet.  Now I have no problem with going out to eat on the holidays.  We have done it a couple times.  However, I looked at DH and said in a very flat tone. "no, not happening."  He grinned, "I knew you would say that, but I thought I would tell you. You know if they had picked <sit down family style restaurant>  I probably would have agreed." 
Ryan's is one of the few restaurants that has gotten me sick.  Plus I am becoming less of a fan of buffets as I get older.  Letting him deal with that one.  I may just make something nice for the two of us.  Last year I think I did Trader Joe's for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

*We just found out that DH will be able to get the day after Thanksgiving off, but not sure what time he will be off Wednesday so not sure that we will have time to get down to Mom's. Or if she will have the space for us.  *